Apparently we really can’t have nice things, not even Christmas lights. One of the region’s most popular holiday light displays, Candy Cane Lane in Woodland Hills, may have just seen its final year as we know it. The reason? Residents of the neighborhood are complaining that visitors are littering, stealing, street hawking and creating traffic jams.
According to the Daily News, the residents along the popular strip have reported that their lawns have been cluttered with used diapers, discarded gift wrap, food packaging and other trash.
There is also scorn in the neighborhood for an influx of street vendors who make their way to the area, particularly on popular weekend nights, to set up stands selling light-up swords, churros and hot dogs. With the vendors apparently comes trash as visitors leave what they buy all over the neighborhood lawns, discouraging the display-makers.
On several occasions, the L.A.P.D. has been called in to disperse the illegal vending, though law enforcement officials have stated they do not consider cracking down on the street vendors a high priority.
“There’s not a whole lot we can do, unless we go out there and kick everybody out,” senior lead officer Jennifer Poepke of the police department’s Topanga division told the Daily News. “But then, as soon as we leave, they just come right back.”
Candy Cane Lane’s tradition of elaborate light displays dates to 1952 and has grown to be a beloved holiday tradition. Participation is voluntary and informal, so it’s unlikely that every house will go dark in unison next year. Rather, it looks like we might be in for a gradual dimming as frustrated homeowners give up one by one.
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